Wing length 4 - 6mm. A small black hoverfly, very similar to P. viduata. The antennae are longer and thinner than in the other species. Both can be seen in the same habitat, low down in the grasses or basking on bramble leaves.
Grasslands and often brown-field sites. The larvae feed on ant-associated aphids in the roots of umbellifers.
Status and distribution
Fairly well distributed through southern Britain, but local. Uncommon in Nottinghamshire and at Netherfield Lagoons.
Best time to see
May to September.